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View Full Version : I declare...BANKRUPTCY!!!


Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-16-2019, 04:25 PM
Welp, it finally happened; the swamp has filed for bankruptcy.

They've announced about 40 store closings, are about to close 40 more stores, and will auction off the rest of their pharmacy business, but otherwise are trying to keep going.

Looks like I got off that sinking ship just in time.

ETA: my old store is one that is closing.

taxguykarl
01-16-2019, 05:37 PM
Congratulations on dodging that bullet.

Rosco the Iroc
01-16-2019, 06:24 PM
Key is ejecting BEFORE the plane crash. Nice.

mjr
01-16-2019, 07:11 PM
Just like Michael Scott:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuZeff2y32M

Mental_Mouse
01-16-2019, 11:42 PM
Key is ejecting BEFORE the plane crash. Nice.

Like this guy (https://fearoflanding.com/photography/the-story-behind-an-unbelievable-photograph/)? :angel:

So, can you name the swamp now?

dalesys
01-17-2019, 12:16 AM
Like this guy (https://fearoflanding.com/photography/the-story-behind-an-unbelievable-photograph/)? :angel:

So, can you name the swamp now?
Sh(p)o(o)pko:p

Pixelated
01-17-2019, 03:26 AM
Congratulations on dodging that bullet.

I second this!

Arcus
01-17-2019, 06:25 AM
All 13 stores in my area are shutting down. They started the closing sale on Jan 1st. The one closest to me opened almost 30 years ago, and in all that time the parking lot was no more than 25% full. I have no idea why they kept it open this long. There is no way it was making enough to pay the bills.

Mental_Mouse
01-17-2019, 09:39 AM
Sh(p)o(o)pko:p

And as expected, I haven't encountered them (because I'm on the other side of the continent :angel:).

But I expect I'll be hearing more about them in the next few weeks. :D

Ghel
01-17-2019, 02:32 PM
The local paper's website linked to a list on the Swamp's website listing 105 stores closing in the next few months. Apparently the Swamp nearest me is staying open. I've only been in it once. :shrug:

dalesys
01-17-2019, 02:38 PM
My dauger worked there 16-18 years ago. She heard they were closing 13 stores here in Utah. On their website's store locator they were listing a store in Sugarhouse that was *demolished* nearly two years ago...:shrug:

Kittykat
01-18-2019, 03:54 AM
Now that it's closing, what store was the Swamp? lol

Victory Sabre
01-18-2019, 05:26 PM
Now that it's closing, what store was the Swamp? lol

Sh(p)o(o)pko:p

I'm surprised that both of my local ones are staying open. I would have thought the one on the east side of town would close, but it isn't.

Tama
01-19-2019, 01:13 AM
I've been trying to guess for years. I had never heard of this place...huh.

Oh well, not an issue now.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-19-2019, 07:10 PM
I went there today to get my optical records released. They had me fill out a form and they will be mailed to me.

The optical people tried to convince me that the optical department will just move to a different building and continue operations, as that is what the company is saying will happen. Yeah no. They don't have money to pay creditors, but they have money to buy or lease a different storefront and renovate it? Sounds like disinformation so the optical people don't just walk out before the final day.

When that was done I took a look around at the liquidation sales. There were absolutely no deals to be found. Very few people browsing. That was probably the final time I'll ever set foot in there.

Food Lady
01-22-2019, 05:35 AM
Sh(p)o(o)pko:pOtherwise known as notTarget.

Aria
01-29-2019, 07:48 PM
I've never heard of this place in my life but I'm Canadian so not surprising. Congrats on getting out at a good time!

Nunavut Pants
01-29-2019, 09:28 PM
It's only a little south of you. Actually, there are likely some stores that are north of some parts of Canada!

Food Lady
01-30-2019, 01:05 AM
I read in the paper today that they are going to reorganize. They gained $63 million from the sale of the pharmacies in the stores. I wonder if they can make it.

Tama
01-30-2019, 02:08 AM
Probably not, but they're going to try anyway

morgana
01-30-2019, 03:17 AM
The "Everything Must Go!" signs are out at the one closest to me. Not that I've been in there in about three years.

ETA: Looks like all four in Lincoln are closing. No great loss, IMHO.

TheSHAD0W
01-30-2019, 01:48 PM
... I took a look around at the liquidation sales. There were absolutely no deals to be found. Very few people browsing.

When a company goes to liquidation, their creditors usually turn it over to a company that specializes in liquidation sales. You can usually tell by their big colorful signs. There usually are no good deals at first, it drags out for months, and you'll occasionally luck out if you go later in the sale but it's slim pickings.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
01-30-2019, 05:30 PM
I read in the paper today that they are going to reorganize. They gained $63 million from the sale of the pharmacies in the stores. I wonder if they can make it.

I highly doubt it. The sale of the pharmacies netted significantly less money than they were hoping.

They will also need somebody to buy the company or invest money into it to keep it going. Even if that happens, a lot more money will be needed to make the company even remotely competitive. Most of the stores have seen no upgrades in 15-25 years, technology is outdated, processes are hilariously inefficient (and the only answer Shopko was ever willing to accept for that is "work harder), the prices are way too high and the wages are too low to attract anybody but first-jobbers and the basically unemployable.

As I understand it, the company was put up for sale before the bankruptcy filing, but nobody was willing to buy it.

Buzzard
01-30-2019, 06:46 PM
A business up for sale is nice and all, but if it will cost more to update the systems to useful/competitive than it will cost to build new, or take too long to pay off investment... nope.

Just another case of killing the cash cow by not bothering to FEED it.

Arcus
01-31-2019, 02:23 AM
Been watching the store closing near me. They are up to 40% on the sale, yet there never seems to be more than 4 or 5 cars in the parking lot. They had even hired 4 sign twirler for last saturday. Last major store closing I remember had a full parking lot at this point.

I don't think this is going too well for them at this location.


Other effects of this have started though. A large number of the pharmacy customers have started going to the store at the other end of the complex. This one has always been a little understaffed and even though they have signs everywhere welcoming the new customers, they were not ready for it. It now takes twice as long to fill and they keep running out everything. This is bad for my parents because now they never know if they will get what they need or if they will have to call around to find it somewhere else.

Mental_Mouse
01-31-2019, 02:41 AM
Been watching the store closing near me. They are up to 40% on the sale, yet there never seems to be more than 4 or 5 cars in the parking lot. They had even hired 4 sign twirler for last saturday. Last major store closing I remember had a full parking lot at this point.


So they can't even handle their bankruptcy... :rolleyes:

Food Lady
01-31-2019, 05:35 AM
processes are hilariously inefficient (and the only answer Shopko was ever willing to accept for that is "work harder), the prices are way too high and the wages are too low to attract anybody but first-jobbers and the basically unemployable.
The "work harder" thing: been there, done that. Yes, prices are too high. I can find some of that stuff for 1/4 the price elsewhere, especially home decor. I don't know what they get paid but I'm sure it's less than at the Bullseye.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
02-05-2019, 06:08 PM
I received a letter about the bankruptcy filing in the mail yesterday, along with instructions about filing a claim to recover debt owed, if any. Or something.

Is it normal to receive such a letter if a company for which you used to work files for bankruptcy?

Argus
02-06-2019, 02:30 AM
Is it normal to receive such a letter if a company for which you used to work files for bankruptcy?
I did for my first employer. (In that case, there actually was some debt; the unemployment office told us we could count the missed payday as the job termination date.)

Sending a few letters where the remaining debt actually is $0 leads to less of a headache than finding out afterwards that some creditors were overlooked.

Victory Sabre
02-07-2019, 11:54 AM
Well, there's a new list out of stores closing, and now the one on the east side of town is closing.

I am surprised it wasn't in the first list.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
02-07-2019, 03:57 PM
About 70% of the company's stores are closing in total.

The news hinted at prospective buyers, so maybe somebody is willing to throw money down this particular hole? IDK. The list of stores staying open still doesn't make a lot of sense.

Tama
02-08-2019, 12:13 AM
Is there any kind of sense to it? Like the stores in X state or Y area?

Irving Patrick Freleigh
02-08-2019, 04:13 PM
The stores staying open are more spread out than I thought they would go with. Then again maybe they are the most profitable ones.

mhkohne
02-08-2019, 06:14 PM
The stores staying open are more spread out than I thought they would go with. Then again maybe they are the most profitable ones.

That may be good for them - spread out means they have less chance of cannibalizing another store's sales. Of course, that assumes that those stores are profitable (or close to it) and the whole thing has any chance of success.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
03-02-2019, 10:10 PM
I'm not a corporate finance expert or anything, but I assume not paying state sales tax is kind of bad?

Because I read yesterday that Shopko owed about $20 million in back sales tax to the state of Wisconsin. Which is pretty darn funny considering their last advertising campaign was "Proud to Call Wisconsin Home (As we stiff them on sales tax)"

Tama
03-03-2019, 12:12 AM
How far back do these back taxes date, or did they say?

Irving Patrick Freleigh
03-03-2019, 02:11 AM
Article here (https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/money/2019/03/01/shopko-dividends-under-investigation-also-owes-wisconsin-13-5-million/2906336002/)

Looks like the unpaid taxes are from 2013-2016. Also I was off on the total amount, which is $13.5 million (taxes and penalties)

Tama
03-03-2019, 02:23 AM
Won't be long before it's $20 mil if they keep not paying though :p

Also thanks for the link

It looks like they knew they were in trouble long before this bankruptcy happened.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
03-18-2019, 06:57 PM
Aaaaaaaand it's gone. Just announced that Shopko will close all its stores by June.

ETA: the local newsrag has a story about a "ruckus" at my former store. It describes the ruckus as a drunk guy confronting a couple employees because he thought they laughed at him, and striking one of them. My city is officially the Florida Man of Wisconsin.

Victory Sabre
03-18-2019, 08:24 PM
Aaaaaaaand it's gone. Just announced that Shopko will close all its stores by June.



Wow! That was fast.

csquared
03-18-2019, 08:49 PM
Not really. Based on Irv's stories, they have been failing for a good 4 - 5 years. Management was either slow to realize it, or (per one article I saw) kept it on life support so they could milk it for all it was worth.

Arcus
03-19-2019, 06:18 AM
About 1/3 of the ones around here closed on Sunday. I know of two more this Sunday and the last should be gone a week after that.

It's a weird feeling seeing them closed, even though I never went to them.

Racket_Man
03-20-2019, 04:01 AM
Wow! That was fast.

They could not find a buyer. They were originally going to keep a few stores (not sure of the number) going if they found a buyer. my local mall now has lost 2 major anchor stores in less than a year because of bankruptcy and all stores closing.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
04-23-2019, 04:31 PM
The swamp's last day of business was yesterday.

Apparently the optical business will be saved and eventually moving to a new location; until then I guess it will operate in the otherwise-vacant building.

Victory Sabre
04-26-2019, 04:37 PM
The local Swamps are either 50% or 70% clearance prices now.

Won't be long now.

Racket_Man
04-29-2019, 05:36 AM
All of the ones in my area are now closed

Food Lady
04-30-2019, 04:20 AM
I was thinking about going yesterday, I think. I don't think it's sunk in that I won't be able to go in there to get Payless shoes. Well, I won't be able to go anywhere for those.

Nunavut Pants
04-30-2019, 04:27 PM
Huh? There's still a Payless in my town; I picked up dinner the other day from the restaurant that's right next to it!

dalesys
04-30-2019, 05:13 PM
Huh? There's still a Payless in my town; I picked up dinner the other day from the restaurant that's right next to it!
Yep, Payless is going going gong! My kids little sister has a work scholarship from them that's evaporated.

Aria
04-30-2019, 07:00 PM
What, really? *googles* Oh wow, they are. I hardly ever shopped at Payless but that's still rather sad.

Racket_Man
05-01-2019, 03:52 AM
I was thinking about going yesterday, I think. I don't think it's sunk in that I won't be able to go in there to get Payless shoes. Well, I won't be able to go anywhere for those.

Payless does have stand alone stores outside of the Swamp/. I know of 2 in my area one in a strip mall in front of WM and one in the local Mall. If you are where I think you are try the BIG mall in town

Food Lady
05-05-2019, 06:54 PM
I'm in right now. Virtually nothing left in Payless. The store isn't too messy. I'm surprised.

KuariKaydrith
05-06-2019, 12:26 AM
The two Payless stores in my city are closed up and as many of their fixtures as possible were sold. I'm a bit sad because I got most of my shoes from there, and now I have to find another place to get them that won't break the bank :/

Nunavut Pants
05-06-2019, 05:47 PM
My experience with that store is quite old now, but I remember that everything I bought from there fell apart in pretty short order. That's why I stopped going; I figured out that I was paying more from having to buy cheap products multiple times.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
05-06-2019, 06:00 PM
The swamp has been closed for two weeks now. Optical is still operating out of the building.

I drove past there yesterday, and the side of the store, where trucks used to drive through and make deliveries, is completely filled with trash. Haphazardly-piled trash. Cardboard bales, plastic bales, discarded fixtures and probably other kinds of garbage, all shoved into a pile spilling out into the driveway. Bet the disposal company's bill is yet another one the company wasn't paying.

So I imagine all that stuff will become the city's problem once it starts blowing out into the neighborhood. Or somebody sets it on fire.

Arcus
05-07-2019, 03:02 AM
All the ones that closed around here look the same as that. I'm betting they just don't care because there is nothing left for the cities to try and get to pay for it all.

Jay 2K Winger
05-07-2019, 05:45 PM
Saw this on Reddit. Relevant to this thread.

https://i.imgur.com/dFBZVPc.jpg

Irving Patrick Freleigh
05-07-2019, 07:10 PM
Probably looking for people to work a few weeks to sell all the remaining merchandise and tear down all the fixtures. I imagine the liquidation announcement prompted many employees to GTFO right away.

I saw postings on Indeed advertising "friends and family seasonal opportunities" for my store before it closed. The job description was verbatim from their Christmas postings last year.

Liquidation is supposed to be finished next month.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
06-24-2019, 12:33 AM
Apropos of nothing, today is the last day of operations for the remaining clearance swamp stores.

The mess behind the now-shuttered store I used to work at has been cleaned up, and I believe the optical is now in the process of being moved to a new space.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
07-14-2019, 06:01 PM
Former clearance swamp employees are still being stiffed on severance pay, and now a U.S Senator is demanding answers. (https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Senator-Tammy-Baldwin-demands-severance-pay-for-former-Shopko-employees-512687101.html)

Very happy to see she's doing this. Also the guy in the black shirt is a former co-worker of mine.